Monday, 30 March 2015

Jemma Training for Dash of the Titan and Dirty Weekend

After last months exploits at the Mighty Deerstalker the events are starting to ramp up a level in terms of distance and potentially difficulty. The Deerstalker was a tough run but falls into the training plan of building distance with Jemma's next two big events ahead- Dash of the Titan and the Dirty Weekend at Burleigh House.

This weekend's upcoming Dash of the Titan is a local event that as racers we feel it's only right to support. Last year's running of this relatively new OCR event in the heart of Sherwood Forest was greeted with mixed reviews and there's a new team in place to hopefully put it firmly on the OCR map. It's also a qualifier for the National OCR Championships for which Jemma is hoping to qualify.

The qualification element of the Dash of the Titan is the first 5 mile lap, the hope is to finish within the top 10 of her age group to qualify for November's National Champs which will be a real achievement but one we're hopeful Jemma has the capability to do. This year might be a little early in her development but Dash will show the level she's now performing.

The plan for Jemma is to run through the finish line after lap 1 and continue for a further 5 mile lap. 10 miles seems a good step up after 14.5 or so racing kilometres at last months Deerstalker and will help in her build up towards the big one- Rat Race's Dirty Weekend in May where the full event distance is 20 miles so the training has to reflect that.

Last Saturday we headed out (Jemma running, myself on the cyclocross bike outside for the first time since breaking my leg so it was going to be a test for me too) for a long run as training for Dash of the Titan and with the view of taking steps towards the 20 mile race distance of the Dirty Weekend. The forecast wasn't brilliant but it looked from the news that we had a good window until around 10.30-11.00 before the rain was due. Armed with a Kalenji running hydration park and her Inov8 Terrafly 277's we tentatively headed out hoping to miss the rain
Jemma running through Bestwood Country Park in her Terrafly 277's

The run took in some of the best trails I know locally and took Jemma on a tour of some areas she's never been before. We headed through Bestwood Country Park, through Bulwell Hall Park and along the Robin Hood Way past Rolls Royce and over to the old Brick Yard at Hucknall.

Running alongside Rolls Royce and Hucknall Aerodrome on the Robin Hood Way
From the old Brick Yard we headed over the motorway for a short period before cutting back across to the edges of Hucknall. Cutting through the town centre we made our way past the renowned Beer Shack micropub and back over to Mill Lakes before a trip along the Leen Valley Way and up through Bestwood Country Park home. 19.9 kilometres according to Strava and job done as part of Jemma's training. The run also served as a great longer distance test for Jemma's relatively new Inov8 Terrafly 277's which passed with flying colours and zero foot issues.

The trails back into Hucknall from the motorway

The route we took is great for simply plodding along. aside from the final climb up through Bestwood Country Park there was nothing particularly demanding. Plenty to see and variety in surfaces to keep the boredom down and the miles ticking over.

Training for Dash of the Titan and Dirty Weekend

As well as running 2-3 times a week Jemma has been keeping to a schedule of at least 2-3 bike sessions too in light of the Coast to Coast event planned for much later in the year. It's all good cardiovascular work to help further develop the strong engine that Jemma has.

Additionally the gym has been about functional strength work for the forthcoming OCR events. Rowing and Rope Climber machines have been used to help develop upper body endurance as well as working on building squat and pull-down strength to help with those high walls in events are developing well. We've also been hitting the Landmines and incline sit-ups as well as getting good use out of the TRX straps.

We'll write a lot more on training in future so watch this space for more info.

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